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Has Anyone Used Pure Negatives?


This might belong in the strength forum, but I'm curious what some of you guys think of pure negative training (110%+ of 1RM).

I have used them on a few occasions to overcome some strength plateus. I have read some articles recently that suggest that even one set of pure negative training can set your recovery back to several weeks before any compensation takes place. If that's true, it would seem less effective than regular concetric training because of the infrequency of the sessions.

I know Poliquin recommends pure negatives for rebuilding lost strength and size after a lay off.

Any thoughts or experiences?


Used them ~ great to tack on to supplement any intense training, though I do so sparingly. Also useful to get a feel for a weight you've never pushed.


This is especially true if you push past eccentric failure. The trick is to do only up to 3 reps of supramaximal eccentrics without reaching failure. You can do up to 5 sets without overstressing yourself in this manner, and your recovery won't go down the drain. Nevertheless, this technique is intense, and using it too much will indeed overstress you.


I remember books by JOhn Little and Pete Sisco (I believe) called Power Factor training, and Static Contraction Training. While the details of the 1st are a bit fuzzy now, the second one had training protocols where you essentially worked with holds, and negatives utilizing weights you couldn't actually handle fo normal repetitions (I believe the power factor approach was just paritals in the strongest ROM?).

While I didn't really gain any appreciable size, I 'lifted' damn heavy weights until my joints started hurting like the devil.... I later found out that no one who tried the prescribed workout in the book stayed with it very long -lol. Just my own personal story though. I think utilizing negatives has it's place, and can be incorporated to allow your muscles to get used to a heavier weight at times, but I wouldn't suggest it as a sole method of training.



I used them as part of the switching phase in Smolov. Tehey seemed to work pretty well for strength. But I wouldn't do them regularly


Interesting, thanks!

I was using them on the flat bench for six reps. I would do a five second negative and could only maintain that control for the first four reps. It felt like the bar was starting to fall by the fifth and sixth rep. My training partner had to do a rack pull to pull the bar off of me as I was so weak.

I would do that for two sets at the end of my chest workout. Now that I think about what you wrote, I was most likely doing too much.

I think they would be good to do right before a long vacation.


Get ready for som serious DOMS and CNS involvement.

Negatives can work also in a similar manner like post tetanic potentiation once you pick up weight and start doing complete move after negatives. Usually can be manipulated to add more tension. Used it with tricep dips and close grip chins.


I think they could work very well if you manipulated the volume and fatigue to allow for enough frequency. But I also think the reason they have never caught on and turned into a successful program, is the diffuclty of use. You either MUST have a spotter or spotters, or you have to do unilateral eccentrics using both limbs for the concentric.

It makes options in training very minimal.


Uh,.. did anyone else reading this thread notice my earlier response magically vanished? What the hell is up with this site lately -lol



now it's back up there...f'in ghosts


the websites haunted.